Posted: May 14, 2019 7:55 pm
by Thommo
TopCat wrote:In other words, just because they distract attention with an easily debunked Bailey, doesn't mean in itself that their Motte is also unsound. So it needs to be separately debunked?

I'm not an accomplished logician, so happy to be schooled here.

As Scott says, correct.

The only complication might be that the bailey might be something that you agree with or that is not clearly wrong and cannot be easily debunked (this being the point of its defensibility). You may have no intention of debunking it.

So you might see a motte and bailey where someone chances their luck with a statement about how clear it is that all abortion is morally wrong, and when pressed claim that nobody could possibly think murdering babies is acceptable.

Certainly none of us are going to try to debunk the claim that murdering babies is morally acceptable (there is the odd philosopher who might try, but I just don't think those of us here are so inclined).